Volunteers place thousands of flags to honor veterans

Hampden County
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Saturday thousands of veterans were remembered.

“2,500 flags will probably be placed today,” said Chris Lizotte, Director of Veterans Services in West Springfield.

And 2,500 service members were honored Saturday for making the ultimate sacrifice. 

Dozens of volunteers gathered at the Saint Thomas Cemetery in West Springfield, to place American flags at the burial sites of veterans. 

“This has been going on for decades. It’s a time honored tradition,” said Lizotte. 

For many, Memorial Day weekend is about remembering the more than 1,000,000 Americans killed, while serving in all U.S. wars.

“It’s important for me, because it preserves their legacy. It does tell a story, because you’ll see folks here, talking about their loved one,” Lizotte said. “Talking about the military service and its a way to educate, especially the youth and we have the young marines here today, to help out with that.”

And for one young marine, Saturday was a reminder about the freedoms we sometimes take for granted.  

“It’s important for me, because I’m currently enlisted in the United States Army,” said United States Marine, Sgt. Major Connor Siwicki.  “I ship out in July and without the past members of the armed services who have given their life, I would not have been able to join.”

No grave was left without a flag or a salute. 

“No matter how you feel about the armed forces, they did give their life for you and they deserve that respect,” said Siwicki. 

For many it was a time to bond, remember our fallen heroes, and honor their sacrifice. 

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